Involving your children in household tasks saves you time and it’s also a good bonding activity for the whole family. Besides that, your children will learn how to be independent from a young age. In order to help your kids cultivate the good habit of cleaning, it is essential to start at a young age, so that it becomes a habit, and not a chore. Here are 7 tips to help your child cultivate the good habit of cleaning.
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How to cultivate the habit of cleaning
1. Start at a young age
Let your kids start helping you with the household chores at the tender age of 2. You can ease them into it with simpler tasks first and teach them new tasks along the way in a fun manner. The key is to start early to progressively develop good habits.
2. Explain why they should contribute
By explaining to your child beforehand why they should contribute, they will understand that the tasks are not meant to be a punishment. In fact, the task contributes to making the home a comfortable environment to live in.
Don’t underestimate your children – most of the time, they want to be involved and contribute! They will also be more willing and able to complete a task (whether in school or at home) if they are told in advance why they have to complete it.
3. Read stories with them
Try reading stories about the benefits of keeping clean and doing household chores to reframe their misconceptions about cleaning.
You will be able to find several books in the book stores about mess and cleaning. Such books will help you convey the message of cleaning and tidying up in a fun and entertaining way.
4. Plan your household schedules beforehand
Don’t make your children feel anxious by telling them at the very last minute that they have to do the household chores. This creates stress and also makes them dislike housework.
Instead, plan the housework in advance. For example, dedicate every Saturday morning to cleaning, and reward them by getting some ice cream afterwards. This ensures that your children will have the time to prepare and be rewarded.
5. Provide a time-frame
Try splitting each task into 20 minutes segments and reward your kid with something nice once they have completed the task. This technique will motivate your kid to finish the task on time, and with great determination!
6. Don’t clean everything at once
Explain to your children that cleaning is something that is done regularly and progressively, not necessarily all at once. When they know that they can clean a little at a time, they won’t feel like cleaning is taking up their play time and start to dislike cleaning.
7. Provide an incentive
An incentive such as a small gift, a trip to the mall, or a nice dessert treat for your kid, motivates them and helps them associate household chores with something positive. You can agree on the reward before doing the task, but make sure you can honour the reward.
This will help your child understand that pleasure comes after work. It can also help build trust between you and your child because they’ll know that mummy and daddy aren’t lying when they said I’d get a reward!
Make cleaning a habit for your kids
Many kids might be reluctant to clean in the beginning, but keep in mind that the little ones like to be hands-on and try new things.
Be patient and spend time showing your kids how to do little things like removing crumbs from the table after eating, storing their shoes in the right place once they’re back from school, or placing things back where they belong. They’ll start to feel useful, involved, and responsible. That’s how you cultivate a good habit!
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